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Monday, February 17, 2014

I Know I Said I Wouldn't Talk About It...

I made a promise to myself that when the book came out, when I would start to promote, I would tone down the political stuff that came out of my head and ended up in my blog.  I would tone down my comments on racism,  I would stop spreading my unsolicited liberal opinion.  I made the conscious decision to make no comment on perceived injustice in this country, in the news, in any viewpoint.  I'm a fiction writer, not a political journalist.  I stopped watching the news, interested myself only in the sports pages.

Unsuprisingly, I've had very little to write in this blog for quite some time.

Then came the Jordan Davis trial.

I heard that Michael Dunn was convicted of everything but murder 1, to the outrage of most.  I didn't understand why, so I read up on the trial.  Horror crept into my mind.  We've got another Stand Your Ground case.

Short version:  White dude drunkenly tells SUV full of black kids to turn their rap music down.  Black kids politely (maybe not so politely) tell him where to go.  Drunk white dude goes thinks someone is pointing a shotgun at him, goes back to his own car, grabs a gun and caps off 10 times into the SUV.  Nine shots hit, one kid dies.

It makes me want to puke writing it.

I'm not even going to talk about the verdict.  That is it's own animal.  I'm going to rant for a second on the horrific racial injustice inherent in the murder and the racist nature of the SYG law in and of itself.  It speaks to an era we convinced ourselves ended when Martin Luther King Jr. marched on Washington.  It speaks of a mindset people declared over with the election of President Obama.  The idea that you can blast someone when you feel threatened is not universal.  Those kids in the car were threatened.  If they produced a weapon and shot Mr. Dunn, would there be any doubt as to the treatment they would receive in the legal system and in the media? There would be referendum on the violence inherent in rap music, a call to arms to stop this scourge to our youth, and oh yeah, those kids would ALL be put away for life.  Trayvon Martin was shot dead in his own neighborhood because a white guy, who we now know is batsh** crazy, saw his hoodie and decided he was a threat, and for half a minute people blamed the hoodie.

I think we can agree that a law is unjust if it is not or cannot be applied evenly, which was the driving force behind eliminating the "Separate, but Equal" thinking behind the Jim Crow laws.  The Stand Your Ground laws are of the same ilk.  It punishes people for being Black, assigns a threat level to being Black, makes it okay for citizens fearing a phantom menace to police you for being Black, and to what end?  So that we'll tip our caps to every white person walking by and greet them with a "Good mornin' suh" to put them at ease?  So that we'll keep to "our own" neighborhoods with people who look like us and therefore stay where we're supposed to be?

If you've never met me or spoken to me, I'm a threatening looking Black guy -- 6'4", 260 pounds give or take.  I like wearing hoodies.  I like rap music.  Have I signed my own death warrant? Like the quote says, "There ain't much I can do about being big and Black at the same time."

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